Are you kind or are your nice?
Being kind and being nice are not the same thing. Being nice is an external act, a behavior that can be sincere or not. Kindness does what it's conscious dictates whether its popular or not. For example, being nice might be giving someone money despite having concerns about the way that it will be spent. Being kind might mean not giving money but seeing a deeper need and responding to that.
Random acts of kindness may be a starting place and are good things to do but true kindness is more than that. Being kind involves generosity, empathy, understanding and compassion. I can be generous without being kind but to be kind, I must be generous.
Kindness is contagious. Being kind can have a domino effect and start a movement of kindness.
How can I be more kind? Below are some suggested ways to be more kind. Please share your ideas in the comments.
A few ways to grow in kindness
Show tolerance for others and seek their well-being.
See a need in someone and help them without calling out their need.
Give honest feedback with empathy and compassion.
Treat others the way they want to be treated.
Seek to understand (Stephen Covey) and really listen before responding.
Develop empathy by getting to know someone different than yourself. For example, get to know someone with a disability or life-changing illness that you do not have. There are some other examples in "Are you an arrogant jerk?".
Do not pity others. Instead, get to know them. They may be happier than you.
See the good in others.
Validate others. Your words of encouragement might be the spark that helps her reach her true potential.
Be patient with others.
Respect other's privacy and help them to guard it.
Take the time to help another person find and seize opportunities.
Show sincere appreciation and gratitude.
Be happy and celebrate other's accomplishments.
Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Value other's time.
Understand that we are all human and make mistakes.
Give a forgiving smile or the peace sign when you are slighted. I did not see a pedestrian in the parking lot and almost hit him. The truth is that I did not see him because I was distracted. I hit the brakes later than I should have. He gave me the peace sign instead of the finger I expected to receive.
Connect with and acknowledge others, even if it is just a smile. This is especially powerful when you validate someone who is marginalized by society.
Be kind to yourself by using all of the suggestions above when it comes to you. You can't truly be kind to others unless you are kind to yourself.